February 13. John 15:1-17
Happy Saturday, friend. And if you are here, today, it means you have made time on a weekend to sit with the Lord for awhile. Well done! I love this passage about the Vine and the branches. It's such a clear illustration of our need to stay attached to Christ. All that we do of any value - any "fruit that lasts" - is done through Christ's power flowing in us and out of us to others. When you sit in the morning with the Lord and His Word, it's like you are getting a fresh infusion of truth and love in order to go out and share it!
I see three dominant themes in this portion of John's Gospel:
- Bear fruit. We are not to simply accept Christ and then go about our business as if nothing has changed. Instead, we have a purpose. We are to bear fruit that will last, sharing the gospel and showing it through our actions and our responses to people. We are fruit-bearers who stay attached to the Vine where the energy sap flows through to us and then outward to others.
- Be known by your love. The mark of a Christian ought to be ... love. Whether we agree with someone or not and whether they are friend or enemy, we are to love them. Love sometimes means saying hard truths, of course, but when a hard truth is said "in love" it has a far greater chance of success than when it is said in disgust, disdain, or anger! God so loved the world ... and we are to be like Him. Let's love well.
- Be filled with His joy. We should also be a happy people. 🙂 Jesus says it like this in verse 11: "I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!" The result of staying connected to the Vine: remaining and abiding in Christ, is ... JOY!! Our Lord's love is so rich and so deep and so "safe" that the response to it is a Wow kind of JOY. That's what Jesus wants for you and me. So often, when times are hard and we feel weak in our own selves, His joy becomes our strength. Let's lean in to it and receive it, abiding in Him!
My verse: John 15:4 "Remain in me, and I will remain in you. for a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me."
My response: To remain is to Stay Put. To not flit about, but to be rooted and attached. Lord, help me to stay attached to You, my Source, so that through Your Power flowing in me, I produce fruit for Your kingdom - fruit that lasts. Keep me near, Lord Jesus. Never let me stray. Day by day, yoked to You, yielding fruit in season and out of season as You will it.